Friends & Family @ the-roadhouse 18.10.03

Up north to promote his 2nd LP Upwards is a UK Hip-hop artist all the ladies seem to like, T.Y! Never one to use staid hip-hop imagery or cliche lyrics, Ty instead writes more intelligently than other emcees predictable grind of rhymes; describing their alternate career selling weed or boastful tales of pubescent polygamy

Ty is different. Musically too, (a regular host at London's Jazz Cafe) he has cast his eclectic net wider than most. Hip-Hop, Soul, R'n'B, Afro-beat. You can hear all of these influences oozing out of his music. Early-on Ty worked with the EN4cers; Pogo, Shortee Blitz & Billy Biznizz. Then "Turn It Up A Little" with the Nextmen helped lead the way to debut LP Awkward (Big Dada) in 2001. Since then he has worked with Kela Futi, Basement Jaxx & Tony Allen. Recorded his 2nd LP....

I first met Ty back in summer 2000. He was in the North-West to record with Krispy ('Millenium Funk EP') & they performed together at Friends & Family the following year. Shot him last when he hosted a Big Dada stage at Sub-Tub Jubilee Special in 2002

Ty returns to the Roadhouse with old cohort DJ Biznizz (EN4cers) -a real soldier, he DJ'd on crutches with a broken foot!- to showcase new LP material to the Friends-&-Family faithful. An appreciative crowd are eating out of his hand as soon as he steps up onto the small Roadhouse stage, before even hard-working up a sweat, in fact from the first bars of opening number "Ha Ha", singularly the only new song the cellar club is familiar with

During his last number Ty jumps down from the stage & sets off around the room dancing with punters. I saw my subject disappear behind a scrum of sweaty backs. So I followed patiently, trying to keep roughly the same distance behind. Shadow him as he weaves through the crowd until he turns to head back to the stage. Click! Got my photograph. Favourite of the night by far. Down amongst you in the audience. An unusually level viewpoint. An honest, open & slightly-surprised face looks straight at the camera. He is different